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Consumer Reports


FedEx will move your car to your vacation spot

http://www.jewishworldreview.com | (KRT) As long as you have to take the spouse and kids on your family vacation, why not bring along the Ferrari or Lamborghini?

But because there isn't enough room to hold the luggage much less the family, you typically have had to leave the exotic at home.

Not anymore. Thanks to FedEx Passport Transport service, the family and luggage can fly to Phoenix while FedEx transports the car.

The Ferrari or Lamborghini doesn't arrive with a guy in a really big back brace carrying a really large cardboard box with a pull-tab to your office door.

Rather, the car is picked up at your house, shipped in an enclosed 53-foot-long moving van and driven to the front door of your retreat, said Jim Snider, executive vice president and chief operating officer of FedEx Custom Critical, which operates Passport Transport.

The new service is aimed at an untapped market, exotic or collectible cars, and transporting them to Hyannis Port, Mass., so the owner who has little time to play with the toy during the business year can enjoy it on vacation.

"We (Custom Critical) primarily transport expensive commodities, such as high-end electronics and works of art, and wanted to expand our market to high-end cars as well," Snider said.

Snider said FedEx noticed that those who wear silk ties during the week, but headbands on weekends when playing with their Harley-Davidsons, would fly to the annual Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, S.D., each year and ship their bikes.

Prices are higher than renting a vacation car, about $1,000 to ship a car from New York to Miami; $1,900 New York to Phoenix; and $1,700 Chicago to San Francisco for those willing to wait up to six days after pickup for delivery.

Fees for demanding a specific pickup and delivery date would be $3,800 New York to Miami, $7,300 New York to Phoenix and $6,400 Chicago to San Francisco.

FedEx provides the same service for the Taurus sedan going to Orlando, Fla., for example, to save the family having to rent a car at the Magic Kingdom.

But while the collectible goes in an enclosed moving van, the Taurus travels in an open truck with no guarantee it won't have a bug or two tattooed on the windshield when it arrives.

Yet the price is about 60 percent of what it costs to transport a collectible. Rates vary, and specific prices are at autotrans-express.com, Snider said.

"We do a lot of snow birds who want their car shipped to Florida or Arizona for the winter, families that relocate and those who buy or sell a car on eBay and need it moved," Snider said.

___

Decades ago, unveiling the new model year's offerings was a major social event.

Cars were transported in covered carriers so no one could see them before the "introduction date" each fall, when consumers would mob the dealerships.

Chrysler Group hopes to rekindle some of that spirit with invitation-only "Premiere Night/Days" in dealerships across the country. It started with Chrysler stores Thursday, followed by Dodge stores June 17 and Jeep stores at a fall date to be determined.

More than 4 million Chrysler owners and prospective buyers were invited to visit one of 2,100 Chrysler stores for a peek at vehicles being launched this year.

Clever way to get 4 million people into a showroom without having to offer $1,000 to $2,000 in incentive money - providing 4 million people showed up after noticing the invite doesn't include a $1,000 to $2,000 rebate certificate.

But a clever way to use the invites handed in at the door to compile a list of sales prospects for dealers to contact.

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